Garlic Tostones (Twice fried Plantains)

Warning: quashing Plantains may cause spatula to bend

This dish complements every dish

Ingredients

2 Plantains, chopped into ½ inch thick rounds

Garlic, minced

Oil for frying

Plantains for Newbies

In taste and texture, a plantain is a hybrid between a banana and potato.  The greener the plantain is, the more it will resemble a potato. Ripe yellow and black plantains will be sweeter and more resemble a banana.  Both green and yellow-black plantains can be used for this dish, but it depends upon your taste.  If you want something that tastes kind of like garlic French-fries, use green.  If you enjoy tangy sweet garlic flavor, use yellow-black.  Or take the middle path and use yellow-green to greenish-yellow.

Remember, green plantains are often a bit dry and fickle.  To remedy, soak sliced rounds in salt water for 20-30 min prior to frying.

The Main Event

Plantains in the Ring

1. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat; add plantains and make sure to jostle them around a bit while cooking to avoid sticking

Just a Bit of Brown

2. Sauté plantains on one side until just a bit of brown appears on sizzling side; flip the rounds and check to see when the other side is about to brown

Love with an Iron Spatula

3. Quash browned plantains with spatula, keep butter knife in other hand to scrape flattened rounds off spatula

Garlic Time

4. Once flattened rounds have sizzled for a 3-5 minutes, reduce heat to medium low, add garlic and sauté 2-3 min or until garlic is fully cooked.

Serve hot with pretty much everything.  Some people put mayonnaise on plantains, but I rarely engage with this condiment.  I prefer my plantains dressed or dipped lightly with onions and chiles soaked in lime and vinegar.  See extremely easy recipe below

Chop one quarter onion and two fresh chiles (red, green or whatever), mix with juice of two limes and enough vinegar to allow all solid ingredients to float, but also just barely touch the bottom of the container.  Add a pinch of salt and let ingredients sit for at least one hour.

What happens in the container is symbiosis. The lime vinegar will disarm the harsh taste of raw onion and chile, as the onion and chile add flavor to the lime vinegar.  This sauce will keep in the fridge for pretty much ever, but I’d say one month is enough.

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